You’re Like a Stand-Up Comedian (Even If You’re Not Terribly Funny)

By Jeff Beals

Have you ever attended a show at a stand-up comedy club? If you haven’t perhaps you have watched a television show recorded live at a comedy club. Either way, you’re probably familiar with how it works, because comedy clubs around the world tend to have the same structure.

On any given night, three or four comedians are booked in the club. The most famous of these comedians is called the “headliner” and he goes on stage last. But before the headliner begins his routine, two or three “warm-up acts,” lesser known comedians, take the stage.

Every time I have attended a stand-up comedy show, without fail, at least one or more of the warm-up acts will actually be funnier than the headliner. It always happens!

But guess who gets the biggest applause, the uproarious laughter and the standing ovation? You guessed it – the headliner. Even if the headliner is the fourth funniest comedian out of four, he still gets all the glory.

Why is that?

It’s because audiences want the famous comedian to be the funniest comedian. Even if he is not that funny at all, people subconsciously pretend he is because he is famous.

That is a perfect example of “the power of celebrity.” People tend to respect, admire and give deference to well-known people even if those people have not necessarily earned that respect. It is human nature and it’s something we can take advantage of in our daily work.

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While you may have no plans to become a professional comedian, you can exploit human nature to suit your goals by becoming a celebrity in your own sphere of interest. Your sphere of interest is that group of people, who in any way, can help you reach your goals – clients, prospective clients, anyone who could refer a client, a potential employer, someone who could get you on a coveted committee or board. In other words, there are thousands and thousands of people who could have an impact on your success and they compose your sphere of interest.

Among those people, you need to be a celebrity, a person with a widely recognized and highly respected personal brand.

When you become a celebrity in your own sphere of interest, people will be more interested in what you have to say. They will be pleased to be seen next to you. They will talk about you to other people. Perception is reality. Even if you are no more talented than the next person, you can get ahead of that person by having celebrity status in your own sphere of interest.

Developing a level of celebrity is simply one of the single most important things you can do to further your career or grow your business. I’m not saying you need to develop a name as widely recognized as a movie star’s, a senator’s or a famous CEO’s, but within your field of expertise, you need to become a mini rock star. If you’re in business, you should strive to be a celebrity in your marketplace or your industry. Name recognition is power.

So how do you become a celebrity in your own sphere of interest? For starters, be excellent in your work. Never stop preparing and planning. Be disciplined and work hard. Do something that’s worthy of being a celebrity in your sphere of interest.

Unfortunately, however, excellence is far from enough. In this competitive world, your talent and hard work are simply expected. Performance is merely foundational. Assume your competition is working just as hard as you and is even more talented than you. In such an environment, your celebrity status and personal brand are among the few things that set you apart.

As a celebrity in your own sphere of interest, you need to be active and involved. Go the extra mile to meet people and stay in touch with them after you meet. Be highly visible in your profession and your geographic marketplace. If you make a consistent effort to establish solid professional relationships with as many people as possible it will pay off.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at info@jeffbeals.com or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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